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Spinach - BDD framework on top of Gherkin Build Status Dependency Status

Spinach is a high-level BDD framework that leverages the expressive Gherkin language (used by Cucumber) to help you define executable specifications of your application or library's acceptance criteria.

Conceived as an alternative to Cucumber, here are some of its design goals:

  • Step maintanability: since features map to their own classes, their steps are just methods of that class. This encourages step encapsulation.

  • Step reusability: In case you want to reuse steps across features, you can always wrap those in plain ol' Ruby modules.

Spinach is tested against MRI 1.9.2, 1.9.3. Rubinius 2.0 support is on the works.

We are not planning to make it compatible with MRI 1.8.7 since, you know, this would be irresponsible :)

Getting started

Start by adding spinach to your Gemfile:

group :test do
  gem 'spinach'
  # gem 'rspec'
end

Spinach works out-of-the-box with your favorite test suite, but you can also use it with RSpec as well if you put the following in features/support/env.rb:

require 'rspec'

Now create a features folder in your app or library and write your first feature:

Feature: Test how spinach works
  In order to know what the heck is spinach
  As a developer
  I want it to behave in an expected way

  Scenario: Formal greeting
    Given I have an empty array
    And I append my first name and my last name to it
    When I pass it to my super-duper method
    Then the output should contain a formal greeting

  Scenario: Informal greeting
    Given I have an empty array
    And I append only my first name to it
    When I pass it to my super-duper method
    Then the output should contain a casual greeting

Now for the steps file. Remember that in Spinach steps are just Ruby classes, following a camelcase naming convention. Spinach generator will do some scaffolding for you:

$ spinach --generate

Spinach will detect your features and generate the following class:

features/steps/test_how_spinach_works.rb

class TestHowSpinachWorks < Spinach::FeatureSteps
  Given 'I have an empty array' do
  end

  And 'I append my first name and my last name to it' do
  end

  When 'I pass it to my super-duper method' do
  end

  Then 'the output should contain a formal greeting' do
  end

  And 'I append only my first name to it' do
  end

  Then 'the output should contain a casual greeting' do
  end
end

Then, you can fill it in with your logic - remember, it's just a class, you can use private methods, mix in modules or whatever!

class TestHowSpinachWorks < Spinach::FeatureSteps
  Given 'I have an empty array' do
    @array = Array.new
  end

  And 'I append my first name and my last name to it' do
    @array += ["John", "Doe"]
  end

  When 'I pass it to my super-duper method' do
    @output = capture_output do
      Greeter.greet(@array)
    end
  end

  Then 'the output should contain a formal greeting' do
    @output.must_include "Hello, mr. John Doe"
  end

  And 'I append only my first name to it' do
    @array += ["John"]
  end

  Then 'the output should contain a casual greeting' do
    @output.must_include "Yo, John! Whassup?"
  end

  private

  def capture_output
    out = StringIO.new
    $stdout = out
    $stderr = out
    yield
    $stdout = STDOUT
    $stderr = STDERR
    out.string
  end
end
module Greeter
  def self.greet(name)
    if name.length > 1
      puts "Hello, mr. #{name.join(' ')}"
    else
      puts "Yo, #{name.first}! Whassup?"
    end
  end
end

Then run your feature again running spinach and watch it all turn green! :)

Tags

Feature and Scenarios can be marked with tags in the form: @tag. Tags can be used for different purposes:

  • applying some actions using hooks (eg: @javascript, @transaction, @vcr)

    # When using Capybara, you can switch the driver to use another one with
    # javascript capabilities (Selenium, Poltergeist, capybara-webkit, ...)
    #
    # Spinach already integrates with Capybara if you add
    # `require spinach/capybara` in `features/support/env.rb`.
    #
    # This example is extracted from this integration.
    Spinach.hooks.on_tag("javascript") do
      ::Capybara.current_driver = ::Capybara.javascript_driver
    end
    
  • filtering (eg: @module-a, @customer, @admin, @bug-12, @feat-1)

    # Given a feature file with this content
    
    @feat-1
    Feature: So something great
    
      Scenario: Make it possible
    
      @bug-12
      Scenario: Ensure no regression on this
    

    Then you can run all Scenarios in your suite related to @feat-1 using:

      spinach --tags @feat-1
    

    Or only Scenarios related to @feat-1 and @bug-12 using:

      spinach --tags @feat-1,@bug-12
    

    Or only Scenarios related to @feat-1 excluding @bug-12 using:

      spinach --tags @feat-1,~@bug-12
    

By default Spinach will ignore Scenarios marked with the tag @wip or whose Feature is marked with the tag @wip. Those are meant to be work in progress, scenarios that are pending while you work on them. To explicitly run those, use the --tags option:

spinach --tags @wip

Hook architecture

Spinach provides several hooks to allow you performing certain steps before or after any feature, scenario or step execution.

So, for example, you could:

Spinach.hooks.before_scenario do |scenario|
  clear_database
end

Spinach.hooks.on_successful_step do |step, location|
  count_steps(step.scenario.steps)
end

Spinach.hooks.after_run do |status|
  send_mail if status == 0
end

Full hook documentation is here:

Spinach's hook documentation on rubydoc

Wanna use it with Rails 3?

Use spinach-rails

Other rack-based frameworks

Check out our spinach-sinatra demo

Resources

Related gems

Demos

Contributing

You can easily contribute to Spinach. Its codebase is simple and extensively documented.

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add specs for it. This is important so we don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull.
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

License

MIT License. Copyright 2011 Codegram Technologies

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